Are more jobs under threat as Devon & Cornwall and Dorset police forces look at merging? (From Falmouth Packet)
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Are more jobs under threat as Devon & Cornwall and Dorset police forces look at merging?
9:30am Saturday 21st December 2013 in News
Devon and Cornwall police have announced they are exploring how the two forces can "collaborate effectively across all areas of policing".
With government cuts blamed for the move, a spokesman said it was looking at how policing services can be maintained to a high standard for the communities within both force areas, at a time when police budgets are reducing.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, Tony Hogg said: “I have always said that collaboration is a key element to maintaining effective policing. There is a financial imperative to provide a continued policing service despite reducing funding, which means that we have to look at new ways to deliver our services. We are not content to see further reductions in the service we provide to our communities in order to make budget cuts and we share a desire to invest in our capability despite challenging budgets.”
With the possibility of duplication in job roles across both forces, the move could see job losses.
Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police, Shaun Sawyer said: “I fully understand that some officers and staff may feel unsettled by this announcement, however, I strongly feel this is the right thing for us to explore. We all have a duty to provide the very best service we can to our communities. The two forces share similar geography, history and values, with a mix of urban, rural and coastal communities. I believe that by working closely with our colleagues in Dorset, we have the opportunity to preserve the local policing that both our communities enjoy and demand.”
There are a number of key factors, such as budgetary reductions, sustaining neighbourhood policing and improving resilience, that make a strategic alliance a sensible approach to better preserve the delivery of policing across the two forces to current or improved standards.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset, Martyn Underhill said: “Budget restrictions faced by policing across the region are significant. Both Forces are faced with ‘real challenges’ to achieve further savings above and over what has already been made. This process cannot go on indefinitely. It is not possible to continually withdraw resources from the Force areas without it affecting the communities we serve. We have examined all options carefully to provide efficient policing across the region and are continuing to seek viable solutions. We have agreed to explore the concept of a strategic alliance and I look forward to working with Devon and Cornwall in the months ahead, in determining whether this is the right decision for Dorset.”
Chief Constable Debbie Simpson said: “The decision to explore how Dorset and Devon and Cornwall Police can better work together has come about because both forces are determined to put the public first while identifying the necessary savings. Both forces are strong performers and have broadly similar policing styles. There is also considerable trust between the two organisations. This considered we believe that taking a detailed look at our joint working arrangements is the correct thing to do.”
The spokesman claimed any alliance would have "no detrimental impact on the policing service delivered on the ground across the three counties" and both forces remain committed to sustaining neighbourhood policing. It is thought that the initial scoping exercise will not begin until the New Year and is expected to take around six months to complete.
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